Getting to know the team: Heather Swinfen

Heather Swinfen

Heather Swinfen

Welcome to our new series of blogs, getting to know the team. Our team is the most important aspect of Browndog, bringing together over 100 years of combined experience, each with their own specialties. We’re delving into this first one by introducing our Graphic Designer and Animator, Heather Swinfen.

Who are you and what’s your role?

I’m Heather and I’m a graphic designer and animator.

Tell us some background…

I studied Graphic Design at University of Huddersfield; I did my placement year with Browndog and have stayed with them ever since, recently celebrating my 5-year work anniversary! I’m originally from Derby but I now live in Nottingham with my boyfriend, so I work remotely and visit the office regularly (mainly to see the dogs).

What kind of projects do you enjoy working on?

I love taking something I’ve created for print and transforming it into animation. I think it’s a brilliant way to add a new level of personality to a piece of design, and it can create some fun, imaginative work!

What projects have you worked on this year?

I’ve created a lot of animations this year, showcasing clients’ new ventures such as apps, products and services, the most recent being an animation for Simplify

We’ve done a number of campaigns for Calderdale College throughout the year, including their Apply Now, Enrol and Open Days. It included social media assets and videos, leaflets and billboards.

For Kirklees Council, I illustrated a set of maps that encouraged people to explore their local area. These were then printed and handed out at libraries and community centres across the district.

Where in the world would you like to visit?

I would love to go to New York. I’m not usually a big city person (much rather be at the beach), but the idea of wandering the New York streets, that have had so much influence on design and fashion throughout history, sounds incredible. Plus, I really want to try the famous bagels…

What unpopular opinion do you have?

I never dunk biscuits in tea…think of all the crumbs at the bottom of your mug. Ew.

What are you loving at the moment?

I’m currently reading The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson; it’s the third in the series. They aren’t a new series of books, and most people would have seen the movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but they are fantastic. If you enjoy crime drama novels, I would highly recommend them.

How do you spend your free time?

My boyfriend and I recently bought a house, so we are in the middle of renovating and decorating. It’s been a lot of fun getting to design a space, and I’ve learnt a lot of new skills by getting involved with the messy stuff!

What’s a life goal of yours?

I have a few! But I’d like to think I have the nerve to go skydiving…I’ll get back to you.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

I’m more of a night owl. I love my sleep, but getting up on these cold mornings is proving to be very difficult!

Ready for another blog? Heather recently wrote 5 reasons why you should be using animation in your marketing.

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How much does a good website cost to build?

  • A brochure site (a place to share information about your products or services) will cost between £6,000-£12,000 depending on the volume of pages, functional elements and any bespoke design requests you may have.
  • An ecommerce website (a place where you can sell your products or services and visitors can complete their transaction online) will cost from £10,000.
  • If you’re looking for completely bespoke design or just a website refresh, we’ll be happy to chat with you and provide a quote for your requirements.

We’ve developed over 200 websites. You can look at our catalogue of work here and chat with our clients if you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with our team before we become partners in your project.

When you work with us, you’ll get that perfect combination of great design and technical development from our whole team, not just one person.

How long does it take to build a website?

Before we start any work, we’ll share a project plan which will include deadlines for providing content, and we’ll keep you updated if the expected times change.

Writing keyword-rich copy will keep visitors on your website and encourage them to work with you. If writing isn’t for you or you just don’t have time, we can produce a content plan on your behalf.

Why you need a website

Most customers will expect you to have a website and may question your legitimacy as a business if they can’t find you online. When a potential customer does find you, what should their first impression be? You want them to be confident when buying from you and to have a good feeling about your brand.

If growing your business is a goal, then having a website is a great place to gain leads. Using the right mix of keywords and a thorough digital marketing plan, you can become good friends with Google! Google will play a significant role in helping your customers find you online and giving you a positive return on investment for the cost of your website and online strategy.

Even the most basic of websites should serve as an informative tool to answer frequently asked customer questions and offer your first port of call for customer service. Your opening times, address and latest news or offers should be easy to find. Ultimately, the better your website is, the easier it will be to find, and a great website will help you to reach more customers.

Being online helps you to reach a much bigger pool of customers than a bricks and mortar store. Your website can be the key to extended success, with no limits on the scope of your customer geography other than your product/service capabilities.

Working with an agency like Browndog will give you a technically sound, fresh and functional website which is responsively designed, and provides consistent brand messaging for your customers. We’ll also take the guess work out of your online strategy and make sure your website is targeting the right customer segments to increase sales opportunities and raise brand awareness.

How much does it cost?

  • A marketing campaign animation or company/product introduction between 90-120 seconds in length will cost between £2,500 and £3,000. This will depend on the length of the video, the content, and any additional options such as a voice over or music. Don’t worry, we can guide you through best practice and find a plan that fits for you.
  • If you’d like us to produce a logo ident or gif animations for you to use on social media and in smaller campaigns, you can expect to pay between £250-£300. This will be a much smaller brief and will take less time than a campaign animation.
  • We’re more than happy to put together a bespoke package for you to include multiple campaign videos, logo idents, voice overs and photography or videography as needed. We do it all!

You can look at our catalogue of work here and chat with our clients if you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with our team before we become partners in your project. 

How long does it take to produce an animation?

But here’s the kind of time you can expect your animation to take:

  • Marketing campaign animations – this will usually take us about three weeks to prepare. We like to allow a week for content and styling, followed by storyboarding and revisions. Finally, we’ll take another week to animate your work. These things are a work of art, you can’t rush them (and we won’t).
  • Logo idents, gifs and short animations – we estimate that this will take up to two weeks.

Are you ready to get started? Send us your brief today or give us a call to talk through your ideas. We’re a friendly bunch!*

*If you visit us, our office dogs may take part in your meeting.

What kind of animations can we help with?

Ideally, your marketing strategy will include a range of media content to achieve the greatest engagement and response from your audience.

We can help with animations and videos that include company and product introductions, as well as content for specific marketing campaigns. These types of animations can showcase who you are, and what you have to offer. Plus, they are an exciting way to launch a new product or service and get your customers on board.

When you work with us on your branding, why not include a logo ident to add that extra bit of personality to your business and content, setting you apart from your competitors.

Another growing area for animated content is social media and your website. We produce gifs, short video clips and motion graphics for use on web pages and in social posts. This is a great way to captivate the viewers’ attention, share your brand values and advertise your latest campaign or event.

Finally, when you work with us on your website, we highly recommend adding a range of graphics, animations and videos to keep visitors on your site and share your messaging in captivating ways. We’ve provided many website banners and short looping animations for our clients.

We will guide you through each of your animation journey, from assessing the content that will work best for you, to how long your animated content should be and where it should be placed.

Why is animation an important element of your content strategy?

Not only is it effective but using animation can be a cost-saving way to grab the attention of your audience and keep them looking at your content for longer. It’s considerably cheaper than producing recorded video footage because it can be easily edited and updated when needed.

Animation is the fastest growing type of content created by marketers for use on websites and social media, so if you’re not doing it yet, now is the time to start…

We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to explain complex ideas, products or services in text form or with images. That’s why many of our clients work with us to produce animations that take the information off the page and jump out at the audience.

Most importantly, animation has been proven to boost conversion rates on your website. Users are significantly more engaged and more likely to spend longer on your site or complete an action, such as filling in a contact form.

How will animation help my marketing strategy?

Animation is a powerful marketing tool and a great way to show some personality in your brand, making you more memorable (think: the Aldi carrot or the Netflix Tudum).

One of the great benefits of animation is that it can help you to share a lot of information in just a few seconds, because sometimes that’s all the time you have to attract a user’s attention.